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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Living in a State of Gratitude

Oct 31, 2019 11:08AM

I remember my mother encouraging me as a child to be grateful and finish what was on my plate because poor people around the world were starving. What an awful image it planted in my little mind as I wondered how come God didn’t put food on everyone’s plate. 


At the dinner table, my dad would lead the Catholic blessing when our family of 10 gathered to eat: “Bless us, O Lord, and these, Thy gifts, which we are about to receive…” By the time I started my own family, our mealtime gratitude prayers had evolved with our understanding of the truly powerful effect that speaking from a grateful heart had on our lives and conversations. 


Today, living in a state of gratitude for everything that shows up in life has become my greatest teacher and most disciplined spiritual practice. Enlightened beings from across the ages have taught that being grateful for everything and having love in our heart for ourselves and others is the way out of pain and suffering. But this is no small feat! It requires faith, surrender, acceptance of what is, and saying “Yes” to life in each present moment. 


As you read through this month’s issue, you’ll find lots of great fodder for bringing more gratitude into your life. 


Foodie April Thompson brings joy to the season’s table with her take on “Zenful Eating: Mindful Meals in Quiet Gratitude.” Three of the nation’s top Zen chefs share their wisdom about being grateful, present and peaceful at mealtime—just in time for Thanksgiving (page 42)! 


Ronica O’Hara explores “Kids With Gratitude: Making Thankfulness Second Nature.” Her tips are based on emerging research that shows gratitude to be one of the easiest, most effective ways to kick-start happiness and well-being—at any age (page 46). 


This month’s feature, “Chasing ZZZZZs: How to Put Insomnia to Rest,” examines the many contributors and adverse health effects of compromised sleep, along with natural pathways to a good night’s rest (page 36). One of the best sleep remedies I’ve found when I hit my pillow is to review my day and acknowledge everything that happened that I am grateful for. I usually fall asleep before I’m finished.


As the holiday season rings in this month, I envision hands and hearts encircling the globe in deep love and gratitude for Mother Earth and the glue that holds us all together: love. It’s who we are.

Here’s to our awakening! 

In deep gratitude, 

Sharon 


P.S. Welcoming everything into my life was recently tested when Kara Cave, an extraordinary member of our Natural Awakenings home office team for the past five years, told me she was accepting a new job opportunity. I initially felt a tremendous sense of loss. But it quickly shifted to excitement and gratitude that Kara had attracted a worthy vehicle for her many talents and that we would welcome a new team member bringing new gifts to our team. Perhaps it’s you or someone you know?  




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